White papers are a powerful resource for B2B buyers during their decision-making process.

78% of B2B buyers say they use white papers when researching their purchasing decisions, compared to only 28% who cite interactive presentations as part of their content mix.

But often, design resources are strapped or already maxed out, and budgets are allocated to other places. It’s unlikely you have a few hundred or thousand dollars lying around to build out new white papers.

So we’ve made one for you. Download this free white paper template. It can be easily modified to suit your needs.

Simple White paper Template [FREE Download] from @jeanwrites

  • Project proposals
  • Survey results
  • Research data
  • Written case studies

It isn’t fancy. But it’s super easy to use, and will make the process of building whitepapers as quick as a snap.

Also, in case you want to make your own template, I’ve captured screenshots of my step-by-step process and shared them below.

Step 1: Make the White Paper Count

First things first—if you’re creating ad hoc content that doesn’t have direct ties to business objectives, stop everything now.

Creating effective content starts with understanding the strategy behind it. Especially with involved content like a white paper, do your due diligence and ensure you have the basics of content strategy down.

Recommended for you: Simplified Guide to B2B Content Strategy

Before you get neck deep in your white paper, make sure it’s aligned to your top priorities. Once you’ve established the strategic significance, we can get into the tactical execution!

Step 2: Execute on the Strategy

Once you have your strategy down to a T, it’s time to create the actual asset. Start by placing your logo in the page header.

Step 3: Put Together an Easy-to-Read Title Page

This page should show the title of the document, the companies or analysts who helped research the document, the date that the publication was published, and its authors. We like Helvetica because it’s easy to read, and has a whole catalogue of font variations.

Step 4: Identify H1, H2, and Subsections

Give your white papers consistency by identifying standard protocol for subsections and how information is organized. This helps readers understand more information at a glance, and helps white paper authors more quickly put together their information.

Step 5: Break Out Sections That Need to Stand Alone

Not all pages need to be full of text. Some pages, like key takeaways or breaks in thought, can take up a full page.

Step 6: Use a Simple Color Palette to Bring Attention to Key Thoughts

This helps readers find the nuggets of information that they need—quickly. You can use a color that reflects your corporate structure, or something more vibrant. We suggest not using red because it’s often associated with edits.

Step 7: Put Fully Baked Ideas into Easy One-Pagers

To get the full value of your report, bake one-pagers into the full document. Sales teams can use these one-pagers for sales calls, or buyers can hold onto them for easy reference, recall, or summarization of major sections.

Step 8: Ensure Your Pages Look and Feel Consistent

Designers are great at making documents look like Vogue spreads. We writers, or content strategists, can suck at it. One key is to take a look at the whole document and ensure that your pages have a similar style and feel.

  • Limit yourself to one or two font families for titles and paragraph text.
  • Use a narrow color palette throughout the document.

In the end, you’ll have a professional-caliber document that you can use for reports, research, case studies, or data. Save your .docx or .doc files as a .pdf file before final sharing the asset. It gives your document a final professional seal.

DIY White Paper Template

Ready to get started making beautiful and effective white papers? Download this FREE template and get started making it your own!

Jean Spencer

About Jean Spencer

Jean is a Content Marketing Strategist, Cloud & Enterprise at Microsoft, focused on pushing and redefining the limits of what content marketing can be. She also likes to do crossword puzzles and rock climb.